UFP Global Holdings, an affiliate of US-based UFP Industries (UFPI), has bought a 70% stake in industrial packaging producer Ficus Pax for approximately $13.5m.

This deal represents UFP’s first foray into the industrial packaging space in India.

Based in the Indian state of Bangalore, Ficus Pax specialises in manufacturing mixed-material cases and crates, nail-less plywood boxes, wooden pallets and other packaging products.

The company operates ten facilities in major industrial markets across the southern part of India.

Ficus Pax also owns a majority stake in Wadpack, a manufacturer of corrugated paper boxes and other solutions.

It generated sales of around $39m during the 12-month period to August 2021.

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UFP international operations executive vice-president Dick McBride said: “The addition of Ficus Pax gives UFP a solid foundation to grow our industrial packaging presence in India, the world’s fastest-growing economy and a strategic market for our international expansion.

“Ficus Pax is a leader in innovation, with a talented design and engineering team and considerable experience in producing high-value packaging solutions for domestic and multinational customers. We look forward to working together to grow our business with new and existing customers worldwide.”

Following the acquisition, Wadpack chairman and managing director Sandeep Wadhwa will serve as managing director of Ficus Pax.

Wadhwa said: “This transaction begins an exciting new chapter for Ficus Pax and our 600-plus employees.  The investment and support that UFP Global will provide to Ficus Pax and Wadpack will allow us to expand our sales outreach, increase our capacity, automate in ways that will improve our productivity, and gain more flexibility in sourcing materials.”

Set up in 1955, UFPI is based in Michigan, US, and has affiliates in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Its operating subsidiaries include UFP Industrial, UFP Construction and UFP Retail Solutions.

Earlier this month, France-based barrier packaging provider IPACKCHEM agreed to acquire Mullackal Polymers, an Indian provider of crop protection packaging, for an undisclosed amount.